How to Turn Off Flash on Canon Rebel

If you’re getting into photography, one of the first things you might wonder about is controlling the flash.

You might have noticed that your picture comes out too bright with flash enabled, or you might want to take pictures in a place where flash photography isn’t allowed.

I have more than four years of experience using Canon cameras and getting tough shots at live sporting events. In this article, I’ll be explaining how to make sure your flash only goes off when you want it to.

It’s easy to do, so let’s get right into it.

Method 1: Turning off Flash Using Exposure Modes

If you are new to photography, the term ‘exposure modes’ might sound daunting. But rest assured, they’re easy to understand and all you have to do to change modes is turn the dial next to your camera’s power switch.

Many novices are most familiar with auto mode, which is distinctive for being the only exposure mode with a colored icon. 

While the other icons are white, the auto mode icon is a green box with the letter A inside as well as a plus sign. When your camera is in this mode, the camera’s sensors will read the scene and automatically pick fitting settings for each shot.

There is, of course, a problem with this. If the camera decides the picture looks best with flash enabled, then it will use the flash even if you don’t want to for whatever reason.

Fortunately, there is a different method that allows you to use automatic mode while also instructing the camera against using flash.

This is the “no flash” mode, and the icon is a white box with a lightning bolt symbol crossed out. It should be located next to the auto mode icon, and to switch to this mode, you just have to turn the dial clockwise.

Once you’ve selected the no flash exposure mode, you can freely take pictures without worrying about the flash turning on when you don’t want it to.

Method 2: Turning off Flash from the Menu

There’s another way to disable flash, regardless of which exposure mode you’re using. You can do this through your camera’s menus, and it’s easy to miss the option if you aren’t specifically looking for it.

To disable flash this way, you have to press the Menu button and then navigate to the section labeled flash control.

From there, you’ll see an option called “flash firing” and you will have the option to keep it enabled or to disable it. If you choose to disable it, the flash will stay off even if you’re shooting in auto mode.

Alternatively, some Canon models have a simplified process where you only need to press the Menu button and tap the flash settings icon on the touchscreen.

Method 3: Physically Turning off the Flash

You may have noticed that the built-in flash on your Canon Rebel isn’t raised all the time. 

It’s designed to fold down to make storing the camera easier, and it will only pop up if you press the flash button on the front of the camera or take a photo in auto mode using flash.

However, you may have not realized that the flash won’t pop up automatically if you’re shooting in one of the ‘creative zone’ modes such as manual exposure, program AE, or aperture-priority.

These modes are mainly used by intermediate to advanced photographers and offer a higher degree of control in exchange for less assistance from the camera.

If you’re shooting in one of these modes and the built-in flash is closed, it won’t open automatically regardless of the lighting conditions. 

If you do want to open the flash while using these modes, you’ll have to do it manually by pressing the button on the front of your camera.


There are a number of situations where flash might be inconvenient, like taking pictures in a museum or theater where it isn’t allowed. With the methods above, though, you should have no problem turning it off on your Canon Rebel and getting right back to making the perfect shot.

Do you have any questions? And do you prefer taking pictures in natural lighting or using flash? Tell us what you think in the comments section!

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